Valar Morghulis, Robot Jellyfish

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This is a drawing my niece made for me, I think maybe five years ago.

It’s one of the few decorative objects in my work cubicle, and despite the rather flimsy material has survived multiple office moves.

In case it isn’t obvious, that’s a robot jellyfish.

I write this because in the last few weeks, people around me have been reminiscing. She was perfect. She was unbelievably well-behaved. She was an angel.

Not that it isn’t true, of course. Sam was really one of the nicest, kindest kids I’ve ever met. She was almost always in an unnaturally good mood.

All well and good, but that’s not all she was.

More than nice, she was intelligent.

She was whip-smart.

She was incredibly witty.

I want to remember her as that — a badass child who thought an already scary sea animal ought to be weaponized and let loose upon the unsuspecting masses.

Please, look at the drawing again.

Look closely.

Look at the motherfucking teeth

Other people can hold on to their remembrance of her as a sweet, beautiful child.

I’d rather cling to my memories of a funny, intelligent, slightly crazy, robot-jellyfish-drawing badass baby girl.

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In Which I Greet My Friend Jason On His 30th Birthday

As you may have gleamed from this earlier post, it’s not easy for me to find friends in real life.

It’s tough making real connections when you’re a testy bitch with poor social skills.

I won’t be surprised if you assume that Jason is my imaginary friend.

Except he’s not.

I met Jason maybe more than a decade ago (I can’t remember exactly when). We were both contestants in a college-wide history contest — neither of us won.

Whenever we reminisce about the contest, he insists that we both did great despite neither of us winning; it’s a very generous version of what actually happened. I remember feeling seriously outclassed during the contest. After all, I had no idea what the capital of Burkina Faso was.

(Trivia: it’s Ouagadougou.)

He didn’t walk into the contest venue.

I clearly remember him swaggering in.

I won’t lie and say I liked him immediately. Even from afar I could tell that he was brash, loud, and kind of a blowhard. Not really the sort of guy I’d hang with, you know.

But he was smart.

Oh so very smart.

And if there’s one thing you need to know about me, it’s this: I can overlook a lot of things when massive intellect is involved.

I didn’t like him immediately, but there’s no denying that I was impressed.

(I still am, really. Dude’s brain is filled with so much trivia I don’t know how he fits anything else in there.)

Fast forward ten years, and we’re still friends.

In a way, it’s kind of surprising.

Jason is infuriating.

He never knows when to shut up.

He can turn a casual conversation into a raging argument in the blink of an eye.

He is all-around inflammatory.

 A decade in and he’s still unrelenting, brash, loud, and still a bit of a blowhard.

You know, what, though?

This friendship makes perfect sense.

I realized recently that many of my funniest memories begin with the words “that one time, my friend Jason and I…”

Quick digression — a brief list of my favorite memories involving this guy:

  • Got buzzed hours before a birthday party we were supposed to attend; drove halfway to his house (he lives way out in the sticks) instead of the venue before we realized the mistake.
  • Then when we got to the venue, he started hitting on all the college girls (we were a year or two out of college, I think). I was the world’s shittiest wingman. I did nothing but grin at people.
  • I fell asleep after a beer drinking contest and woke up to him shaking my leg. Long story short, he woke me so he could sing and dance “Yeah Yeah Bonel” to a captive audience (aka Me).
  • Got smashed on cheap tequila while in Tagaytay. We were chatting on the balcony and I was trying my fucking hardest not to vomit my guts out. Every time I turned to face him I would get woozy, so I said, “Jason, nasusuka ako pag tinitignan kita (Jason, looking at you makes me nauseous).”
  • Went drinking in Tomas Morato (macho mug, hells yeah) and afterwards we decided to go to Manila Bay so “he could visit his merpeople”. (I don’t know if this is still true, but at that time he was convinced he was a merman.) Fucker let my drunk ass sleep on the sea wall. I could have fallen into the water, asshole.

(I realize that all of these stories are drunken shenanigans, but the truth is that I’m so boring and regular that I don’t really get into shenanigans unless I’m smashed. Also, they’re not really very good shenanigans, are they?)

There is no one out there who makes me laugh louder than this bastard.

He has zero boundaries, no concept of propriety, and a tongue that fears nothing. I want to hate him sometimes, but you can’t really hate someone who makes you laugh non-stop every time you meet.

He gets me to play hooky when I’m trying to be a responsible adult.

He makes me laugh over the stupidest shit.

He traps me into these long-winded, senseless arguments that leave me angry/amused.

It’s all seemingly contradictory.

Here’s a guy I logically shouldn’t like because he’s the opposite of nearly everything I am, but I cannot imagine myself not being friends with him.

So here’s to my favorite bastard, my trusty drinking buddy, my fucking awesome friend.

Happy birthday.

In Which I Wax Poetic About Bus Rides

My ten-year-old niece died last week. 

I can’t look at anything in my house and not think of her. I can’t even watch Spongebob Squarepants anymore, because that was our thing.

She was at my house practically every day ever since she started school, so every time I was at home we’d lie in bed and watch cartoons. When I would inevitably get distracted and start mucking about on my laptop, she’d yank my face and make me focus on the screen.

We spent hours figuring out which Spongebob characters would correspond to the people we knew. She was always Sandy, because she thought gender-matching was a requirement. (Strangely, she thinks it’s okay that I’m Spongebob.)

I don’t think I really understood what grief was before now. To be honest I’m not quite sure I really get it yet.

Somehow I think my body just interprets sadness as exhaustion. The funeral was last Sunday; I came home after the service and just slept the rest of the day away.

The very idea of interacting with people was (is) unbearable, so I took the next day off and just stayed in bed and stared at the ceiling. The most productive thing I did that day was attempt to organise the contents of my kindle.

Talking was a chore. It kind of still is, really. The last few days had me mostly miming, talking only when necessary.

And if I thought regular me was already unpleasant, I wasn’t quite ready to meet this even worse version.

It seems like my exhaustion has gone beyond physical and I can’t even be assed to act halfway decent anymore. Did you know that grunting your answers earns you weird looks? I do now.

But life requires that I participate. Properly. With zest and vigor. I have to be out there, being all okay and shit when all I want is to stay in bed, get drunk off my ass, and watch reruns of South Park for the next five years.

It requires that I act like everything is fine, because otherwise I’m making everyone else not fine, which is inconsiderate.

And who wants to be an inconsiderate jerk, right?

The best part of my day now, really, is my morning bus commute. I know I complain about it time and again, but that’s only because if whining was an Olympic sport I’d have more medals than Michael Phelps.

Truth is, that hour and a half (or two hours, sometimes) of sitting alone in a rickety bus is the best thing ever. For a couple hours, no one talks to me. The most I have to do is bark my stop at the conductor and shove money in his/her hands.

Then… sweet, blissful solitude.

For two hours I don’t have to be anything but sad, and that’s really all I can ask for.

In Which I Think Back To That Time I Got Cock(?)-Blocked By Friends

The title is inaccurate, really, since I don’t have a cock.  I couldn’t think of a better alternative, though, so we’re sticking with that for now. (Or forever, really.)

For no real reason this story popped into my head earlier today. Kinda odd since it happened more than a decade ago, back when I was a wee lass of 16.

It was senior prom, and I was totally head over heels crazy for a classmate.

He had this bad boy vibe to him, and I was just smitten.

[To be fair, he really wasn’t a bad boy. He was super nice. I just thought he had that ex-con vibe to him, which is dumb when you think about it because we were in high school. And he’d never gotten into any trouble. Apart from being tall, dark, and fucking built, there really was no reason for anyone to assume he was “bad”. I was projecting, maybe? I was also *slightly* disappointed when we became friends and I realized he was super decent and had no plans of breaking my heart. Stupid teen me is stupid.]

Anyway, let’s call him Floyd.

So Floyd was my seat mate, and we were friends, and I was just burning with this unrequited crush I had on him, right?

When senior prom rolled along, I came up with a cunning plan.

plan

Floyd had a van.

Well, his dad’s van.

So I figured I could ask him for a ride, and it would be like a date, right? My teenage brain figured it would go something like this:

  1. Get him to agree to drive me to the prom.
  2. Wear really hot dress.
  3. Make his jaw drop.
  4. Attend stupid prom where no dancing was allowed because Jesus hates dancing.
  5. Get him to drive me back home.
  6. ???
  7. Profit

There are a bajillion loopholes in that plan, but they never occurred to me. And I honestly had no clear game plan.

I mean, I was 16 and stupid.

I had no ulterior motives, okay? I just wanted to maybe spend some time alone with this guy I liked. The most I expected was flirting and maybe a kiss on the cheek. (And then maybe we’d be boyfriend and girlfriend the next day — obviously I have zero understanding of human relationships. Sorry. I’m now 30 and still have zero game.)

Seeing as I have trouble with people touching me, my plan really was just stupid innocent. I just wanted us to be sweet together and maybe start a relationship.

So I asked Floyd for a ride to the prom venue, and dude said yes. Phase one complete!

A week or so before the event, my friends were all talking about carpooling to the venue, but I was all gloat gloat gloat Floyd is driving me to the venue gloat shit eating grin.

I went about setting my plan into motion. I’d already roped him into driving me, so that was step one complete. Next I found a really cool dress that I thought made me look nicer than usual. Everything was set.

On the day of the event, I’m freaking out at home waiting for him and then he rings the doorbell and I’m like hell fucking yeah.

I run to the door and find…

…Floyd’s van filled with my motherfucking friends. 

Assholes.

Instead of driving themselves or carpooling, the bitches all talked him into driving them, too. I think they tried to explain that they’d all met in so-and-so’s house where he drove by to pick them all up before swinging by my house, but by then I was so fucking pissed I couldn’t hear them properly.

Motherfuckers.

I couldn’t even ride shotgun, because the van’s aircon was shot and he had this stupid rigged fan in the back instead. My friends were all “yay, come sit here with us” while I tried my best to convey my utmost hatred for them through my eyes.

I think I tried to blink I fucking hate you in Morse code, but they were all too happy chit-chatting to notice.

And you know what? They all knew I liked him. It wasn’t a secret. I’m pretty sure even his friends knew. (Did he know? I never asked.)

Now that I’m older I try to give them the benefit of the doubt and think that they were just really desperate for a ride that they didn’t realize I had a cunning plan. To be fair, I never told them about the cunning plan. Doesn’t mean I’ve forgiven them, okay?

To make things worse, when we arrived at the venue, he took one look at me and said: “nice dress…”

*pause*

“…but why are you wearing stockings?”

Short answer is because my mom made me. She didn’t like me showing my legs like some tart, so nude stockings I had to wear. This was in 2000, where the only people who still wore nude stockings were bank tellers and SM sales ladies. Stupid, stupid, stupid stockings.

I don’t remember much about prom itself. I think we ate stuff and listened to the school pastor’s sermon or something. Maybe we lit candles. I don’t know anymore.

The drive home was five million times worse.

My friends were not getting the hint, and despite me praying to all the gods in existence so that they may let Floyd drive me home alone… no dice. They all piled back into the van and started discussing post-prom shenanigans.

Which I couldn’t join because curfew.

And so they dropped me off at home, and Floyd and my friends had a merry time.

The end.

And that is the story of how I got cock-blocked by friends.

Dicks.

In Which I Confess to Shipping Bros

First of all: I don’t mean it that way.

Nothing against slash — if that’s how you roll, well that’s how you roll. Not my place to judge.

But that’s not the ship I’m referring to.

I like friendship fanfics.

I know, there are two controversial words in that four-word sentence.

(A) Friendship

As far as fanfic writers are concerned, friendship really is super vanilla. It’s boring. Right? I mean, I understand. If I had to write fanfic (and I have — Slam Dunk fanfic, if you need to know) I would want to write something a little racier or at least interesting. Friendship seems a little too ordinary when you can write about two men getting pregnant together (not that I want to, okay — my Slam Dunk fanfic involved zero male pregnancies, just to be clear).

(B) Fanfic

Ah, yes. Fanfiction. It’s not exactly “respectable”, but sometimes a girl’s gotta read what a girl’s gotta read. (Totally untrue, but sometimes reading fanfic is fun.) I try to avoid really out-of-character fics, or the ones that have atrocious grammar. I try not to read super smutty ones unless I want to induce heavy-duty shower scrubbing afterwards. But yeah, guilty as hell on reading fanfics.

Okay, then.

Obviously I like reading fanfics of my non-canon ships, like Draco and Hermione from the Harry Potter books/series. This is the only way I get to read the characters I like in romantic situations, so hell yes I am so reading these fanfics.  Plus, some writers are seriously freaking awesome that reading their work is enjoyable.

(Weeding through the bad ones can be a chore, though. Blurgh.)

But you know what my favorite HP universe fanfic is? This one, about Harry and Draco getting fucking sloshed at a Muggle bar. Yeah, it’s got a bit of Dramione, but that’s not the point.

The point is that the fuckers had such a fun time getting sloshed and disrupting Hermione’s peaceful life, and it’s just so fun. I like it a lot, obviously.

Admittedly, I like stories of drunken shenanigans so there’s that immediate appeal, but also I think Draco and Harry would be super awesome pals. Like, I just know they would like each other if they weren’t literally trying to murder one another. (That curb stomp bit in Deathly Hallows, though. Woof.)

I have no proof of them being super awesome buddies, but I stand by this friendship ship.

I ship Johnlock, too, but again — not that way.

I like how John and Sherlock are friends, and how Sherlock keeps pissing John off and how John has very little control and may one day just throw Sherlock out of the apartment they share.

I don’t want them to fuck.

There.

I just want them to be super bros, like they’re happy and chilling and having tea and occasionally attempting to murder one another. (Admit it: if you lived with Sherlock you’d think about murdering him maybe once per day.)

And then now of course there’s my favorite BrOTP: Rick and Daryl from the Walking Dead.

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I have to admit I like the idea of Beth and Daryl (never bought the Carol thing — dude barely looks at her, come on) because it seems like something that could bcool even if they never went the Glenn and Maggie route. Just seeing them as really good friends who might be slightly more than friends is awesome enough for me.

But Rick and Daryl? Damn. Bros are bros.

When Rick went “you’re my brother”, I was like fucking yeah.

It’s just nice, I think, to have great friendships onscreen. Admirable ones, where they enjoy hitting one another occasionally but never lose sight of the bromance. It’s endearing.

Maybe it says a bit more about me than I’d like to acknowledge, but I find strong friendships a lot more interesting than romantic pairings. It’s a lot less angst, too, because mostly you have these bros just doing whatever shit they’re into and they love each other but they kind of won’t go into detail and it’s okay. It’s cool.

Is this a John Woo thing? I grew up watching Woo’s homoerotic Chow Yun Fat movies (Hard Boiled is my favorite, especially with the hospital blowup finale) and I think I always liked how these friendships were so much less complicated than romantic relationships.

I mean, they are friends, they sometimes bash each other’s faces in, but then they’re friends again after. That’s all I want in life. I want to have a friend I love so much that we can try to strangle each other but still stay friends.

Is that too much to ask?

(Corollary: did I also admit to wanting to hit my friends?)